One of my advisers once drew a vertical line on a white sheet of paper and told me, in research, one needs to think vertically. He then continued, explaining, that graduate students should dig deeper and deeper into the problem until a solution is found. Vertical thinking is an analytical and sequential process and it is widely adopted by researchers in the academia because it finds a solution to the problem faster than the horizontal thinking strategy. In addition, it builds more experienced researchers in the field of investigation.
On this unprecedented occasion, I would like to congratulate the Arab World for its marvelous achievement. We made it, at last. The 300 million Arab can take a day off, maybe a week why not, after all this hard work. Finally, an Arab university had made it to the top 500 universities. Although, it is in the 5th tier (402-501) but, hey, this is unheard of before. King Saud University in Saudi Arabia had made it to the list, congratulations.
This week, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) published its 2009 list of the best 500 universities. The annual ranking, which is in its seventh year, began at Shanghai Jiao Tong University as an attempt to measure the performance of Chinese post-secondary education relative to the rest of the world. But according to The Economist, it’s since become “the most widely used annual ranking of the world’s research universities.” [Source]
The purpose of the table below is to give some perspective of the catastrophic scientific research level in the Arab. It is compared with countries that are much smaller. The Arab world consists of 25 countries that speak Arabic. These countries are in North Africa and in the Middle-east.
||Number of Universities in top 500 list
|The Arab World
Countries as rich as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia should stop their insanity with building tallest towers, they serve no purpose what so ever. Beside, such projects are mainly designed, built, and managed by non-Arab so what to be proud of? None of the countries in the table above, except of those two countries, even thought of building high rise building. Arabs don’t lack the intelligence it is very obvious when you see them excel at top American research institutes, universities, hospitals, and in many other different areas. They just need to be in the right place. Unfortunately, right now this “right place” is not in the Arab world. Rich Arab countries should start thinking seriously of the importance of scientific research. The Arab world should build and sponsor a state-of-the-art research institute that produces top Arab scientists. Without scientific research the Arab world will be behind for the next couple of centuries.
Being the president of the Muslim Students Organization (MSO) at my university I was approached by some American Muslim students telling me that the MSO should write a letter of condemnation about the shooting spree which took place couple of days ago in Fort Hood, Texas. While discussing the matter with some other American Muslim Students regarding what to write and what not and getting some feedback, some of them were against writing such letter. Just to be clear, they were not against condemning what happened they were just against writing the letter and post it on the MSO website. Their reason is that they don’t think whenever a Muslim does something bad that the entire Muslims should be held responsible for it.
In my opinion, I see no reason for Muslim organizations in America to hold press conferences and post press releases on their websites to condemn the act of a single mad Muslim. What happened was very terrible and unfortunately is not helping the Muslims image, especially in the United States. Nevertheless, we should continue with our life.
p.s., we wrote a condemnation letter and posted it in our website.
Today, we had a wonderful weather and who is better than Maria to describe it.
Maria: Oh, oh. Reverend Mother, I’m so sorry. I just couldn’t help myself. The gates were open. And the hills were beckoning and before I … well, you see the sky was so blue today, and everything was so green and fragrant. I just had to be a part of it. And the bird kept leading me higher and higher as though it wanted me to go right through the clouds with it.
This is a song about Maria from the movie “The Sound of Music“:
How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?
When I’m with her I’m confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
She’s as flighty as a feather
She’s a darling! She’s a demon! She’s a lamb!
She is gentle! She is wild!
She’s a riddle! She’s a child!
She’s a headache! She’s an angel!
She’s a girl!
The Sound of Music (1965)